Notifications are the bane of mobile life and numerous tools and articles have been made to help people get them under control. Many apps and mobile platforms themselves actually have functionality to turn off or at least dial down such notifications but the mere inertia needed to configure them has, unsurprisingly, turned many away. Now Google is taking matters into its own hands by removing one of the Play Store’s update-related notifications though the end result might still be debatable.
Prior to this week, a few users have complained that they are no longer seeing the notification that usually appears after Google Play Store is done with its round of app updates, whether automatic or manual. Since it diverged from previously expected behavior, it was regarded and reported as a bug. But as Android Police found out, it was, apparently an intended but silently added new feature.
The way Google Play Store works, users can opt whether to automatically download app updates as they come (and when you’re charging the phone) or do that manually at their own discretion. Like any other app that downloads data in the background, Google Play Store would show a download progress notification. Now, however, it will no longer show a separate notification when it’s done updating the apps, unlike most other Android apps.
The change is a bit divisive, depending on whether you find that notification a necessity or a nuisance. On the one hand, users would still have to tap on the notification anyway to see what exactly has been updated, which takes them to the Play Store app. On the other hand, there might be those who rely on such notifications to know that something has changed overnight while they were sleeping, in case they set Google Play Store to auto-update.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like Google will be giving users the option to opt out of this new behavior. To be clear, Play Store will still show it’s downloading something in the background but unless you actually noticed that, you would be none the wiser.